India recorded 3X increase in online consultations between March and November 2020: Report
The COVID-19 outbreak has forced people to switch to online consultation services this year. Fearing infection, people had no choice but to avoid visiting clinics and consult with doctors online. The accelerated healthtech market in India is dominated by telemedicine and mobile health services this year.
According to the recently published report titled “Reinventing Healthcare Delivery With Telemedicine” by Telemedicine Society of India (TSI) and Practo, India has recorded a 3X increase in the number of people using online consultations, while in-person appointments have reduced by 32 percent in between March to November 2020.
[Image Credit: Practo and TSI]
The report which was published at Telemedicon 2020 held from December 18-20, 2020, revealed that the non-metro cities recorded a growth of 7X in online consultations, as compared to last year.
The report also revealed that non-metro cities are increasingly adopting online mode of consultations amid the pandemic as metro to non-metro ratio for online consultations stood at 60:40 this year, as compared to 75:25 in the previous year. “Tier 2+ cities such as Manjeri, Arrah, Balasore, Etah, Orai, Khopoli, Jagtial, and Shivpuri used telemedicine for the first time in this time period,” the report noted.
“In a short span of time, the digital health space has evolved and online consultations have become the spine of healthcare delivery systems globally. The pandemic has only allowed us to reiterate our vision for future healthcare that’s convenient, accessible, and affordable for a billion+ Indians,” Col (Dr) Ashvini Goel, President, Telemedicine Society of India said in a statement.
Other key results
The report also revealed that mental health-related queries increased by 302 percent, with 33 percent of the overall queries coming from women.
Not only the youth but the elderly are also adopting technology amid the pandemic. This year saw a 502 percent rise in online consultations from people above the age of 50, contributing to almost 12 percent of overall consultations, as opposed to 5 percent in 2019.
“Our aim with this report is to ignite meaningful discussions around telemedicine as a critical first step towards establishing more collaborations among stakeholders, tied by a common commitment to one industry. We have tried to cover all aspects of the upward trajectory taken by telemedicine during the pandemic, and the direction it is expected to take in a world no longer under the threat of COVID-19 by carefully analyzing data captured since the outbreak,” said Shashank ND, CEO and Co-Founder at Practo.
This year also recorded over 300 percent growth in online consultations from Bengaluru, Delhi-NCR, Mumbai, Pune, Hyderabad, and Kolkata, while Chennai saw the highest growth of 4X from last year.